Anna Campbell

   

January 2019 – Gigi!

I’m rather sad to be at the end of this series of posts about favorite Hollywood musicals. I’m so glad that so many of you have really enjoyed my take on these classic films. If you read my post last month about An American in Paris, you’ll know that not all the films lived up to my original starry-eyed view of them. Today’s film, Gigi, definitely did, although it’s got its politically incorrect moments. Read more…

February 2019 – Favorite Reads of 2018 Part 1

It’s always interesting to look back over a year of reading and think about what worked for me and what didn’t. I had a good year this year – better than 2017 – and 2018 will go down as the year when I went back to reading fantasy after pretty much staying away from it for about three decades. Read more…

March 2019 – Favorite Reads of 2018 Part 2

Last month I covered my four favorite fiction reads of last year (apart from the grand prize winners which are still to come). This month, I’m going to talk about my four favorite nonfiction books. I read a lot of nonfiction, especially travel and memoir and history and biographies. All four of these books fit in those categories somewhere. Read more…

April 2019 – The Winternight Trilogy

If you’ve followed my posts for the last few months, you’ll know I’m doing a countdown of some books I particularly enjoyed last year. This month I’m going to talk about a trilogy that I absolutely adored and that, bar an absolutely exceptional late entry, would have emerged as my books of the year. I’ve long been fascinated by Russia and its rich cultural history. Katherine Arden, the author of these three books, has lived in Russia and clearly used her time to great effect, soaking up the exotic folklore. One of the joys of this series is how vividly imagined they are and how small details build up to create a world of astonishing richness and variety. Read more…

May 2019 – My Book of the Year for 2018 Is…

It seems strange to be talking about the book of the year in May! But if you’ve been following the My Favorite Things columns recently you’ll know that this month’s piece is the climax to a series on great books I read last year. And lucky for me, there were lots of them! But despite how good all those others were, and check out my columns to see how good they really are, there was one book that was an absolute standout for me. It’s Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik, a standalone fairytale fantasy from 2018 with elements of Rumpelstiltskin, in that the heroine has the ability to spin gold out of straw. Or at least that’s what gossip says about her. Read more...

June 2019 – Picture Venice!

As many of you know, especially those of you who follow me on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/annacampbell.writer), I’ve just returned from a four-month trip to Europe which was a wonderful combination of writing time and sightseeing. I thought I might share some of my favorite photos from the trip with you over the next two months, starting in Venice and moving to Canna in July. If you’re a long-term reader of My Favorite Things, you’ll know I’ve already done a couple of posts about Venice back in September 2013 and October 2013. But given those photos dated from 1995, I’m sure you won’t mind me revisiting this gorgeous city with some more recent shots. Read more…

July 2019 – Ye Canna Do Better Than Canna!

One of the wonderful surprises of my most recent trip overseas was my first visit to the Isle of Canna, one of the Small Isles just south of Skye. There are four islands in this group: Eigg, where I have a writing retreat every year; Muck and Rum, both of which I’ve visited on a day trip; and Canna, the only one that until this year I hadn’t set foot on. Because I’m a Virgo and I like a complete set, I decided to visit this last island. I arrived with no particular expectations and found myself completely enchanted! Read more…

August 2019 – Beautiful Belton House

I’m doing a series on lovely places I went to on my last trip to Europe which ended at the end of May. If you haven’t already, check out the photo essays on Venice and on the beautiful Isle of Canna in the Hebrides. This time it’s the turn of a gorgeous stately home in Lincolnshire called Belton House which is a star in many ways, not least because it doubled as Rosings Park in the BBC Pride and Prejudice. It was fun going around and identifying rooms that they used in the show – the staircase picture in particular should bring back memories to fans of the series, but the gardens played their part too. Read more…

September 2019 – Delightful Deene Park!

So we come to the end of this whistlestop tour of some of the favorite places I visited in Europe at the beginning of this year. I hope you’ve enjoyed sharing all the photos! If you’d like to see them as I take them, I’m always doing trip updates on Facebook when I travel. Here’s the link: https://www.facebook.com/annacampbell.writer I’m finishing up with a very special place, Deene Park in Northamptonshire near Corby. This is a classic English house in a classic garden in the midst of classic English countryside. Read more…

October 2019 – Some Interesting Reads Part 1

I’ve read some really enjoyable books lately, and I thought I’d devote a couple of Favorite Things columns to sharing some recommendations with you! Today it’s three great romances for your reading pleasure. I’m starting with Cathryn Hein’s wonderful, touching Elsa’s Stand which was the third book in the Outback Brides series, although you can read it as a standalone. Read more…